Highton - hillside & riverside spectacular
Fertile farming land in the hills above Geelong began transforming into this expansive undulating leafy suburb in the post war boom. Following the extensive subdivision of orchards and vineyards on the banks of the Barwon River, Highton was born. Rather sadly, the old Kardinia Creek that presumably ran along Bellvue Avenue was directed underground during the development boom. Still, there’s no shortage of sweet spots to piff yonnies over the Barwon River.
Housing estates date from the 50’s through to current day (Province Estate) where the suburb adjoins the Barrabool Hills. But 60’s, 70’s and further out 80’s homes make up the bulk of Highton’s housing stock on average to very large blocks.
You’ll find some prized modernist and other notable retro offerings from Barwon Boulevard up the hill to Culzean Cresent. These were built by some of Geelong’s pioneering mod squad who sought something different to the heritage stuffiness north of the Barwon. Their vision rewards today’s residents with simple contemporary floorplans and beautiful views over the river and out to the bay.
Along the riverbanks leading up to Queens Park you’ll find some steep blocks with large homes offering far better value than on Newtown’s opposite banks. The river views across the valley are really quite something.
Shopping struggles on this side of Highton, but the new Province Estate should improve that over time. What you lose in supermarkets you gain in a golf course (including a decent driving range) play parks and parkland, lovely river walks and footy grounds.
The Bellevue Ave shopping center really is the heart of Highton, with plenty of café’s, banks, a Woolworths supermarket, excellent if pricey fruit and veg at Harvey’s of Highton, butchers, take away options and other specialty shops.
Highton has always been a mainstay with young families. As a result there are plenty of schools to choose from to suit your offspring’s needs, from state offerings starting with the smaller Highton PS, larger Montpellier and Bellaire and catholic Clairvaux. Secondary schooling is limited to Christian College with neighbouring Belmont High close by.
In the car obsessed 60’s, train connections didn’t have the same kudos, which is Highton’s only downfall. Geelong, South Geelong or Waurn Ponds stations are your best bets. Direct access to the Geelong Ring Road along Barrabool Rd provides an easy Melbourne commuter connection.
What Highton also lacks is a pub. Thankfully the bowls club offers excellent tap beer in an honest, un-mucked about with setting with delightful gentlemen behind the jump, and all your regular bowling accoutrements.
There’s also a library and plenty of parks for kids. Towards Deakin University, Porter Avenue shops are increasingly right on.